Monthly Archives: June 2009

Interruptions

Have to take a little break from North Texas 23 because I was tapped to substitute teach the introductory children’ s literature class (a required class for elementary education majors at my university) when their professor needed to go to Houston for surgery.  I’m doing it on top of my regular librarian job and it’s taking an enormous amount of time.  Wish me luck; on Monday I have to go tell the department head about a student who has been plagiarizing.

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Thing 8: Facebook

I first got on Facebook two years ago, supposedly for work.  I created a more-or-less professional profile (using my work location) to see if this would be a way to communicate with students at my university.

It hasn’t been.  I did have one student who added me as a friend after the children’s literature class I support finished that first summer.  I recently had two of our student workers add me as a friend after they saw pictures of me with my temporary “Librarians Rule” tattoo on my back (visible through a keyhole back) during National Library Week.  But that’s been it as far as students are concerned.  I’ve had a few coworkers from the beginning and have added a few more, but usually only when they initiate the request.

However, more recently I’ve been using Facebook for more personal reasons.  For one thing, it’s been a good way to communicate with my son, who has just finished his sophomore year in college and joined Facebook about the same time I did.  Sometimes it’s the easiest way to get hold of him, especially when using the chat feature.

I’ve also found that a number of my old friends in the Seattle area (where I lived for 21 years, until 2006) are also on Facebook, originally to keep in touch with THEIR college-age kids.  Now we find it’s a good way to keep in touch with each other.   It’s also been the best way to keep in touch with some of my 23 cousins, and even an 82-year-old aunt!

I try to be very careful about what I post on Facebook.  For one thing, I get tired of reading other peoples’ constant status updates of mundane activities.  WHO CARES if you are eating lunch, getting coffee, watching TV, etc.?  Gee, some people are so narcissistic!  I also get tired of all the stupid quizzes people do and post.  I do very few of those as I’m cautious about opening up my profile information to outside applications.

I am concerned about privacy and have implemented just about all of the advice discussed in these links.

Thing 7 – RSS Feeds

I’ve been using RSS feeds for a while, since I’ve had a Bloglines account.  At one point I think I was subscribed to about 75 blogs.  That may not seem like a lot, but it WAS a lot for me.  I have too much to do to keep up with other people’s often-overrated ramblings.  I’ve trimmed out quite a few.  Some were well-known librarians who either had babies* or got too political for me.  Others just didn’t update frequently enough – or included too many of what I consider to be “garbage” posts (garbage in that they weren’t the reason I’d subscribed to the blog in the first place).

I’m down to about 45 feeds now and I will probably trim more of those.   In fact, there are a number of blogs – some by well-known librarian bloggers – that I haven’t read in a long time, partly just to see if when I DO read them, if I’ve missed anything really relevant.

It’s also been interesting to see that some of the supposedly-hot librarian bloggers have apparently moved on to other things (probably Twitter).  Some that used to post very frequently now are doing less (*the baby people fall in this catagory, but for good reason).  Bloglines (the older version; not sure if the Beta does) has a feature where it can’t hold more than 200 unread posts, and it’s been months since I’ve read a few blogs and they still are nowhere near 200 posts since my last reading.

That being said, there are a couple blogs that I’ve found worthy of frequent reading.  I mentioned one in my last post, One-Minute Book Reviews by former book columnist Janice Harayda.  I stumbled across Jan’s blog when looking for a reading group guide for one of my book clubs.  She will occasionally do “unauthorized” reading group guides, particularly when she thinks the discussion questions prepared by the publisher are inane.  Jan reviews all kinds of books and sponsors occasional give-aways of the books she’s reviewed, and I tend to read her blog every day.

Since I buy the children’s literature for my library, another blog I can’t do without is Menasha (WI) Public Library director Tasha Saecker’s KidsLit blog.  She writes brief reviews of lots of children’s books for all ages, and helps keep one abreast of children’s book awards as well.

A Texas school librarian (in the school district where I attended kindergarten) writes a blog I like to follow, to keep up with some of the challenges of public school librarianship:  Vaughn Branom’s  A Library By Any Other Name.

The Newbery Project is a group effort, by a bunch of us (yours truly included) who are attempting to read and review all of the Newbery Medal winners.  I always post my reviews there on my own personal book review blog, Bookin’ It, which is also where I review every single book I read.

Since I am one, The Kept-Up Academic Librarian is appropriate and relevant.  Temple University librarian Steven Bell frequently updates his blog with short blurbs of higher education news, with links to the full story.  I highly recommend this one for academic librarians.

Ellie Collier, reference librarian at Austin (TX) Community College and a previous presenter at TLA, blogs at Ellie <3 Libraries.  I especially like her Friday Link Round Ups.  Jennifer Edwards is a communications professor at my university; she writes A Millennial Professor’s View of Higher Education.  Finally, those of us in academe might get some laughs and insights from the tongue-in-cheek Rate Your Students.

Other than these, the rest of the blogs I regularly read are those of friends – and I’m finding a number of them have moved on to Facebook or Twitter–or worse yet, their blog posts consist of sometimes-incomprehensible (due to the 140 character limit) Twitter feeds!